Senior Fellow

Richard A. Matthew is a Professor of Planning, Policy and Design and Political Science at the University of California at Irvine. He is also the founding Director of the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs ( and co-Principal Investigator of the FloodRISE Project ( He studies the environmental dimensions of conflict and peacebuilding and has done extensive field work in conflict zones in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. His research is widely diffused beyond academic outlets to support the efforts of practitioners in the conservation and humanitarian communities.

He is a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development and a senior member of the UNEP Expert Group on Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding. He has served on several UN missions, including two that he led to Sierra Leone, and he was the lead author of the UN  policy report, From Conflict to Peacebuilding: The Role of Natural resources and the Environment, and the UN technical report, Sierra Leone: Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding Assessment. He has over 160 publications, including Environmental Security: Approaches and Issues (Routledge 2013) with Rita Floyd, and Global Environmental Change and Human Security (MIT Press 2010) with Jon Barnett, Bryan McDonald and Karen O’Brien. He recently edited a four volume set entitled Environmental Security that will be published by Sage in late 2014.



  • Chair, UCI Sustainability Education Task Force (since 2012)
  • Member, UN Expert Group on Environment, Conflict and Peacebuilding (since 2008)


  • PhD – Philosophy (Politics): Princeton University.
  • Master of Arts – Politics: Princeton University.
  • Bachelor of Arts – Political Science: McGill University.


  • English
  • French
Mark Halle reflects on whether the term "sustainable development" still has currency
Mark Halle reflects on whether the term "sustainable development," in use for the past 23 years, still has currency, why sustainability has not been adequately advanced a...

Conflict-Sensitive Conservation: Practitioners' Manual
Book: Anne Hammill, Alec Crawford, Robert Craig, Robert Malpas, Richard Matthew (September 21, 2009)
From Conflict to Peacebuilding: The role of natural resources and the environment
Book: Richard Matthew, Oli Brown, David Jensen (February 23, 2009)
Microfinance and Climate Change Adaptation
Paper: Anne Hammill, Richard Matthew, Elissa McCarter (November 5, 2008)
Surviving in a Changing World: Environment, Security and Microfinance
Paper: Richard Matthew, Anne Hammill (September 7, 2006)
Conserving the Peace: Resources, Livelihoods and Security
Book: Mark Halle, Richard Matthew, Jason Switzer (August 26, 2002)